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Yahoo and Microsoft escape clauses revealed

More details on Yahoo’s search deal with Microsoft have emerged in a government filing. Microsoft will pay Yahoo $50 million a year for three years and will hire at least 400 Yahoo employees. Under the deal, announced last week, Microsoft’s Bing search engine will power Yahoo’s search site and Yahoo will sell premium search ad services for both companies.  Five years into the 10-year agreement, Microsoft can opt out of the exclusive engagement for Yahoo’s ad sales services. Yahoo can terminate the agreement if the average revenue per search from Yahoo and Microsoft’s combined queries, dips below a specified percentage of Google’s estimated revenue per search.

Sony unveils budget-priced e-readers

Sony has brought out new e-readers, a full-featured touchscreen edition and a smaller, portable e-reader that costs $100 less than Amazon’s popular Kindle.  The Sony Reader Touch Edition comes with a 6-inch touchscreen used for navigating the software menu, turning pages on e-books, highlighting text and more. The e-reader will be available by the end of August and cost around US$299. Sony’s second new e-reader, the  Reader Pocket Edition, is a more basic e-reader with a 5-inch screen and will cost around $199 when it launches at the end of this month. The two new Sony e-readers can both store up to 350 e-books and run for two weeks on a battery charge, the company.  They can also be used to read e-books from a variety of Web sites, including about half a million free public domain titles from Google.

Recession still hinders online ad spending

The economic downturn continues to weigh on online ad spending. The worldwide market dropped by 5 percent during the second quarter compared to the same time period last year, according to market research company IDC.

During the second quarter last year companies spent $14.7 billion on online ads. This year that sum dropped to $13.9 billion. Asia was the only region where sales didn’t contract.

Toshiba to sell external battery charger

Toshiba plans to launch an external battery charger based on a direct methanol fuel cell in the next two months, its new president said on Wednesday.

The charger will be a portable device that can be used to charge the batteries in gadgets such as cell phones, music players and portable game devices. Direct methanol fuel cells produce electricity from a reaction between methanol, water and air. The only by-products are a small amount of water vapor and carbon dioxide. They can be replenished with a new cartridge of methanol in seconds.

The new charger is expected to be on sale by the end of September.

And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Elizabeth Heichler in Boston. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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